Former Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower died of pneumonia, his family said in a statement Tuesday.
“Bower was well known for his generosity. He has helped raise funds for causes such as the Kidney Foundation of Canada, The Arthritis Society, and Canadian Veterans and their families. He has been a long-time spokesperson for the Peel Regional Security Village and, since 2003, has been the Honorary Chief of Police for this area.”
Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976, Bower had his share of success with the Maple Leafs from 1958 to 1970.
In twelve seasons in Toronto, the Prince Albert native raised the Stanley Cup four times (1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967), and also won the Vézina Trophy in 1961 and 1965.
He is the last goalie of the Maple Leafs to have won top honors [he shared the net with his teammate Terry Sawchuk, Ed]. In an interview with Radio-Canada Sports earlier this year , Bower returned to the last Stanley Cup win in 1967.
I still can not believe it’s been 50 years. You have to be patient, because winning the Cup is extraordinary. I hope to relive a Stanley Cup in Toronto before my big start. I am 92 years old …
Johnny Bower, in April 2017
The so-called “The Great Wall of China” spent 13 seasons in the minor leagues before making the leap with the New York Rangers and the Leafs.
In 552 games in the NHL, Bower had 250 wins and a goals-against average of 2.51.
After hanging up his skates, he was a recruiter and coach of the goalies.
Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan reacted Tuesday night.
“His generous spirit, kindness and passion for people made him a legendary human. For all that Johnny has taught us over the years, the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans are so grateful to him. He will be sorely missed, but we know he has left an indelible mark on our club and our city. ”
“There is so much we can say about Johnny Bower’s exploits on the ice, and there’s more to say about the man who has represented his sport, his country, and his community with so much dignity.” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement.